As the year closed out we simply weren't able to get to everything sitting on our desk. We get so much music and we want to listen to it all...but between holidays to the UK, Thanksgiving, Christmas and everything in between it just wasn't possible to listen to everything and write a detailed review. So, we present our happy compromise: One Line Reviews. What are they? Well they're short reviews that attempt to nail our thoughts down in as few words as possible...hence the name. It's simply a quantity vs. quality sort of thing here, unfortunately. Our apologies to everyone but we did manage to listen to all of these records at least once and you can tell very quickly if we dug them or not.
So here we go...
Royal Trux: Accelerator (Drag City)
Noisy, raw but some how cleaned up re-issue that sounds like the Trux had a few to many.
Tony Caro & John: Blue Clouds (Drag City)
1972 re-issue that sounds like garage outtakes from the Beatles and VU jamming together. Simplistic and cool.
Mad Music Inc: s/t (Drag City)
Another re-issue, this time from the dark, dank recesses of ambient fairy folk music from Rivendell. Mellow stuff to align your chakra's to.
Analog Players Society: Hurricane Season In Brooklyn (Studio Brooklyn)
Seems kind of ironic that this came out before Sandy...but here it is...chilled globally groovy jazz tunes for a bright sunny day...or reconstruction.
SSION: Bent (Dovecote)
Synth pop grooves that's covered in 80's funk and hipster over effort, but are cool tunes none-the-less. Break out the Carrera's and Members Only...This is 1986 all over again.
Various Artists: Kitsune Maison 14 (Kitsune)
The coolest electro label in the universe releases yet another essential record. Seventeen songs of perfection that you need in your life.
Brainstorm: Heat Waves (Tender Loving Empire)
Northwest indie on an Athens tip via Brooklyn that winds up sounding something like the lovechild of Arcade Fire and Of Montreal addicted to acid. Cool indie pop.
The Chevin: Borderland (So Recordings)
Huge sweeping indie that sounds like it's come straight from the class of 2011 British Pop school. The tunes are huge and almost out U2, U2 at times. Honestly, stadium anthems aren't supposed to be this cool.
Steve Bug: Noir (Poker Flat)
Minimalistic dark building tech-house that at times feels like a Faithless record. It's an impressive and mature album from someone who has released five such things; that's kind of unheard of nowdays...especially from dance music.
Woo: It's Cosy Inside (Drag City)
You know you're old when they start reissuing records you already have the first time around. This is strange mesmerizing stuff that's half ambient and half bizarre.
Stars: The North (ATO)
Can they do no wrong? I don't think they can. Top 25 for the year.
Mozella: The Brian Holland Sessions (Beverly Martel)
As the whole Soul Siren revival pushes on, it's getting harder and harder to make yourself stand out. Enter Mozella who sounds like she just walked in from 1967 and with Brian Holland of Holland, Dozier, and Dozier fame (over 25 #1 records w/Motown) on her arm how could this be anything but spectacular? Awesome stuff.
Sera Cahoone: Deer Creek Canyon (Sub Pop)
Oh my gosh...an actual Sub Pop record I don't like. Folky, singer songwritery stuff that's just ok.
Jon Samuel: First Transmission (Hidden Pony Records)
More singer songwriter stuff. A little less folk and a bit more oomph but still it's just a guy and his guitar.
Maybeshewill: I Was Here For A Moment, Then I Was Gone (Function)
Massive post-emo post rock that takes the best bits of both genre's and runs then through enough effects, riffage, and soaring melodies to leave you dizzy. Brilliant stuff.
3:33: In The Middle of Infinity (Parallel Thought)
I have no idea what these guys are trying to achieve but it's so out there and so well done that it's awesome. It's essentially ambient abstract hip hop that would make DJ Shadow just give up.
Black Pistol Fire: Big Beat 59 (Rife Bird)
Sometimes you can judge a book by it's cover...or it's name. These guys are garage rock that's more traditional than the tradition itself. Rockin countrified blues rock that might just bring Elvis back from the dead.
Shed: The Killer (Monkeytown Records)
Minimalistic glitch ambientronica that's so weird it almost gave me a head ache. I think the military might use this album as part of psychological warfare.
Modeselektor: Modeselektion Volume 2 (Monkeytown Records)
Abstract, haunting stuff that uses beats sparingly and weirdness like it was going out of style. Not sure if this is really dance music but it's electronic mayhem nonetheless. It's like an old Orb record on even more hallucinogens.
Otto Von Schirach: Supermeng (Monkeytown Records)
This record is worth the tune, "Salpica (Miami)" alone. The rest is music the Daleks created to entertain themselves while they conquered the earth.
And there you have it...Volume 1 of One Line Reviews. Hang tight because there's more to come!